How Do Pool Heat Pumps Work?

how do heat pumps work

What is a Pool Heat Pump?

Pool heat pumps are extraordinarily efficient because they don't need to produce heat in order to warm pool or spa water. Instead, heat pumps simply transfer heat from the outside ambient air into the water.

Heat pumps are perfect for in-ground pools in mild and humid climates. Hence why they are so popular in Florida! These units are the ultimate piece of pool equipment if you are looking to open your pool earlier in the spring or keep it open later into the fall.

The Inner Workings of a Pool Heat Pump

Pool heat pumps use electricity to pull “free” heat from the air and then transfer the heat to your pool water. Air temperature, as well as humidity, play a big role in how well the heat pump will work. The more humidity or moisture in the air, the more heat a heat pump can extract. Pool heat pumps can even pull residual heat from cool air - Absolute Zero (the point where all heat is absent) occurs at -459ž° Fahrenheit, proving that even at a relative cool temperature of 55° Fahrenheit still contains large amounts of heat energy. Heat pumps operate most efficiently in temperatures exceeding 50° Fahrenheit. Knowing that pool heat pumps use free air prove that heat pumps are more economical and energy efficient than gas pool heaters.

pool heat pump circulation

The heating process begins when electricity powers the compressor to suck the refrigerant (Freon gas) and squeeze it until the temperature rises to over 200° F. Now the refrigerant passes through an expansion valve, which controls the flow of the refrigerant from the high-pressure side into the low-pressure zone of the unit. As pressure is released, the refrigerant becomes a hot, high pressure gas.

The high pressure gas then flows through the inside of the evaporator coils. As the refrigerant expands into a gas, it cools rapidly and circulates through the evaporator coils. This is when the gas will give up its heat to the surrounding water. Note: The water is never actually exposed to the refrigerant.

Next, the fan will draw warm ambient air across the coils, pre-heating the refrigerant gas. This is when your pool heat pump will capture the “free” heat. The warmer the air, the more heat is absorbed by the evaporator.

The cycle is complete when the Freon is reverted back to its liquid state.

The warmed water flows back into your pool, while the heat pump pulls in more cool water for another heating cycle. Now you can enjoy your pool earlier in the year and extend later in the season without creating a significant carbon footprint. Please keep in mind: if you would like to heat your pool all year round, you may be interested in a pool heater.

Learn more!

For more info, check out our large selection of Pool Heat Pumps online today! Also, Leslie's now offers Professional Installation Services on most pool equipment, including Pool Heat Pumps! Learn more today!